EQIP Organic Initiative in Georgia
Signup for the EQIP Organic Initiative is continuous with cutoff dates for specific year funding. Please check with your local NRCS office for details.
The 2008 Farm Bill highlights the availability of financial and technical assistance to help producers of all commodities meet their conservation goals, including producers transitioning to organic farming and currently certified organic producers through the National Organics Program. The assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) helps producers plan and implement conservation practices to achieve increased conservation benefits on Georgia farms. EQIP is primarily used to provide financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices to address soil, water, air, plant, animal, energy resources to promote environmentally sustainable farming operations. Contracts awarded through EQIP Organic Initiative will be canceled or terminated for any producer not pursuing organic certification, or not being in compliance with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. Contracts will be reviewed annually for compliance.
A new organic provision targets organic producers and producers transitioning to organic production:
* Assistance is for conservation practices related to organic production.
* Assistance is limited to $20,000 per year and $80,000 during a six year
* Producers are required to develop and carry out an Organic System Plan
(OSP) or carry out practices consistent with an OSP.
All producers must maintain one of the Organic certifications below. Please select the statement which applies to your current farming operation.
For producers who are already Certified Organic producers.
For producers who are transitioning into Certified Organic status.
For producers with less than $5,000 in revenue and who are Exempt.
To see a a list of EQIP practices that are eligible for financial assistance, see here: ELIGIBLE EQIP PRACTICE LIST – ORGANIC INITIATIVE
Other Organic Resources:
USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service Organic Information: The National Organic Program (NOP) develops, implements, and administers national production, handling, and labeling standards for organic agricultural products. The NOP also accredits the certifying agents (foreign and domestic) who inspect organic production and handling operations to certify that they meet USDA standards.
USDA Organic Certifier Located in Georgia: This site contains contact information for a USDA Organic Certifier. You can download an Organic Farm Application, and see a list of farms, processors/handlers already certified in Georgia.
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Organic Website: This site has an extensive list of organic publications including templates for an Organic System Plan
For more information or to submit an application for the EQIP Organic Initiative, contact your local NRCS office or
Assistant State Conservationist - Programs
(706) 546- 2272